Lochlan didn't appreciate my turn as businesswoman yesterday. I was hoping to miss him as I came home, planning to change quickly and then track him down to show him I was still in one piece, though Caleb opted to suffer me through a two-hour lunch at a place that wanted to serve every course as a teaspoon of this or that with a dribble of contrast on a plate so large I found it comical by the third course and annoying by the fifth. I was called Mrs. C____ the whole morning too and he never corrected them even once.
I did, every single time.
The morning was too long.
So when we got home and Mike opened the door for me to exit, Lochlan was standing right there, having spent the last half-hour cleaning up the bikes and scooters for the kids, waiting, visibly. He was polishing his tools up to put away and he nodded at Mike, scowled at Caleb and then attempted to put on his 'it's okay' face for me as he took in my outfit, my white leather pencil skirt and black lace fitted sleeveless top with the white matching jacket. Black ankle boots, black bag. Crimson lipstick worn off. Hair straight. Lochlan lies and tells me I look nice when I know he wants to tell me I look like an alien and I point out I will change real quick and make him some lunch.
He mutters Not quick enough and goes back to tightening the seat on Ruth's bike. It keeps creeping down but I know his good arm isn't strong enough anymore and he's too proud to ask one of the others to do it for him.
I return in eight minutes flat and his mood improves considerably. My ripped jeans, eight years in, a navy blue t-shirt with the Beatles on the front, ponytail, no makeup, pink converse.
There she is, he says and smiles. For real this time.
I think I'm done here anyway, he says as he hits the button for the garage door and ducks out as it closes. You don't have to make me lunch, I can handle it.
I look at his filthy hands. By the time you clean up, I'll have it ready, I tell him. Really I want to say Let me do it. Let me make this up to you.
When he comes back, still with dirty hands because it won't come off and it never did, I have two grilled cheese sandwiches and a bowl of sugared blueberries out for him. Coffee. He eats it so fast I don't get time to sit with him and then he asks me to consider the fact that whatever payday we'll get from the Devil might not be worth living in hell.
I think of my thousand-dollar leather skirt I didn't pay for versus standing in the rain trying to run a con to get a free meal and I wonder if he's right.
I hate it here too, I admit and Lochlan breaks into little pieces, all over the floor.
We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.